An isotope dilution-thermal ionisation mass spectrometric (ID-TIMS) methodology using enriched235U (>90 at.%) as a spike is described for the determination of trace uranium (U) in plutonium (Pu). The method is based on the monitoring of UO+instead of U+in order to overcome the isobaric interference of238Pu at238U. The present approach obviates the need for the chemical separation of microgram quantities of U from relatively large amounts of Pu. This method is useful for determining decontamination factors during U-Pu chemical separation, and also for determining trace U in a proposed Pu chemical assay reference material. In practice, the U isotopic concentration in the Pu sample must be known for highly accurate results. © 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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